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Full text of "Master Plan for George Washington Birthplace National Monument"

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A Master Plan for 



GEORGE WASHINGTON 
BIRTHPLACE 
NATIONAL MONUMENT 







THOMAS JEFFERSON ON GEORGE WASHINGTON 

"His integrity was most pure, his injustice the most inflexible I have ever 
known, no motives . . . of friendship or hatred being able to bias his decision. 
He was, indeed, in every sense of the words, a wise, a good, and a great man. 
. . . His heart was not warm in its affections; but he exactly calculated every 
man's value and gave him a solid esteem proportioned to it. . . . Although in 
the circle of his friends ... he took a free share in conversation, his colloquial 
talents were not above mediocrity, possessing neither copiousness of ideas, 
nor fluency of words. . . . Yet he wrote readily, rather diffusely, in an easy and 
correct style. . . . On the whole, his character was, in its mass, perfect, in 
nothing bad, in few points indifferent; and it may truly be said, that never did 
nature and fortune combine more perfectly to make a man great, and to place 
him in the same constellation with whatever worthies have merited from man 
an everlasting remembrance. For his was the singular destiny and merit, of 
leading the armies of his country successfully through an arduous war, for the 
establishment of its independence; of conducting its councils through the 
birth of a government, new in its forms and principles, until it had settled 
down into a quiet and orderly train; and of scrupulously obeying the laws 
through the whole of his career, civil and military, of which the history of the 
world furnishes no other example. . . ." 

[7874] 






Portrait by Charles Willson Peale 




A Master Plan for 

GEORGE WASHINGTON 
BIRTHPLACE 
NATIONAL MONUMENT 

Virginia 







4^ 



U.S. DEPARTMENT 
OF THE 
INTERIOR 

National Park Service 




«*1 




Past and present: an early 18th-century surveying instrument, overlooking Popes Creek. 



CONTENTS 



INTRODUCTION / 5 

SUMMARY of OBJECTIVES / 7 

THE NORTHERN NECK / 9 

A RESOURCE INVENTORY / 13 

THE PLAN FOR THE NATIONAL MONUMENT / 19 
RESOURCE MANAGEMENT / 19 
VISITOR USE /24 
ADMINISTRATION / 30 




The family cemetery at Bridges Creek contains, among 32 burials, the graves of Washington's father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. 



INTRODUCTION 



V \ 

Washington, D.C. ^/ • 




GEORGE 

WASHINGTON 

BIRTHPLACE 



In 1930, nearly two centuries after the birth of George Washington, Congress 
designated 394 acres along Popes Creek in Westmoreland County, Va., as the 
George Washington Birthplace National Monument. This act was a fitting cul- 
mination to the preservation efforts of a number of public-spirited organiza- 
tions and individuals, dating back to 1815 when George Washington Parke 
Custis marked the birthplace site, then in ruins, with a stone slab. 

The monument today is the product of almost four decades of development 
and operation by the National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, in 
cooperation with the Wakefield National Memorial Association. Where once 
there were only the ancient Washington cemetery, a granite shaft, and a hand- 
ful of buried foundations, there are now a Memorial House, built by the asso- 
ciation on the approximate site of the original birthplace house, a colonial-style 
kitchen, landscaped grounds, assorted visitor facilities, and an extensive artifact 
collection. And each year almost 100,000 persons visit these historic grounds. 

Much has been accomplished in the past. Much more remains to be done if 
the National Park Service is effectively to fulfill its commitment to commem- 
orate the birth and early boyhood of George Washington and to present the 
story of his formative years against the background influences of his family, 
his region, and his times. 

This master plan is a generalized statement, subject to revision from time to 
time, that will guide the preservation, development, use, interpretation, and 
administration of the National Monument and assure continuity of purpose 
and effort. 




Scenes at the monument today: (clockwise) 
the grounds near the Memorial House; 
natural conditions close to Bridges Creek; 
the Colonial Garden; visitors touring the 
outbuildings. 






SUMMARY OF OBJECTIVES 




Bottle seals unearthed here. 



The following objectives will guide the management of the National 
Monument. 

Resource Conservation 

1. Conduct the historical, archeological, and natural history research necessary 
to guide the interpretation and preservation of the Washington farm and the 
selection of sites for development. 

2. Stabilize and preserve the ruins of historic structures and, if considered de- 
sirable, reconstruct certain historic structures as evidence of the presence here 
of the Washington family and George Washington. 

3. Continue to preserve and manage the Memorial House as an example of a 
self-sufficient farm home of the first half of the 18th century. 



4. Preserve and restore to the extent practical the historic ground cover and 
land uses of the farm during the historical period commemorated. 

5. Preserve by acquisition, scenic easement, or other means the neighboring 
properties essential to maintaining the quality of the historical and natural 
scene. 

6. Restrict new developments to sites which intrude the least on the birthplace 
site and the John Washington burial ground. 



7. Develop and maintain historical collections, including artifacts and doc- 
umentary materials, relevant to the interpretive theme, the significant values, 
and the research needs of the National Monument. 

8. Cooperate with local organizations and State and other Federal agencies 
in preservation and conservation programs that will help the National Park 
Service protect the historic and scenic resources of the Washington farm. 



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A place setting in the Memorial House. 



8 



Communication 

1. Interpret Washington as a member of a moderately well-to-do family on a 
Tidewater Virginia farm. Emphasis should be placed on the English inheritance, 
early beginnings in America, family events up to Washington's birth on Febru- 
ary 22, 1732, and his brief years in this environment. Important secondary 
themes are 18th-century farming here and that natural history which is relevant 
to the Washington story. 

2. Construct an interpretive facility near a point on Popes Creek southwest of 
the Memorial House, and develop a comprehensive interpretive program that 
will effectively convey to visitors through a variety of media the essential ele- 
ments of the Washington story. 

3. Improve methods and facilities for the initial contact with visitors. 

4. Present the Memorial House and the Colonial Kitchen as period exhibits in 
themselves. 

5. Continue personal interpretive services at the Memorial House and on the 
grounds to the greatest extent possible as a means of assuring a satisfactory 
experience for the majority of visitors. 

6. Interpret natural history resources chiefly as they relate to the 18th-century 
scene that Washington knew. 

7. Encourage educational groups and organizations to visit the National Monu- 
ment by offering special services and programs. 

8. Continue the presentation of programs about the National Monument and 
the National Park Service to schools, historical and conservation organizations, 
and other local groups through such media as off-site talks, educational radio 
and television, and traveling exhibits. 

Visitor Use 

1. Develop the National Monument as primarily a day-use area by providing 
the picnicking facilities and other services needed by visitors at a relatively 
isolated park. 

2. Encourage the use of the monument's natural features by developing walk- 
ing trails and sitting areas. The trails should lead to the shores of Popes Creek 
and the Potomac, passing through the woods and near the marshes. 

3. Support the efforts of nearby communities and State and other Federal 
agencies to provide adequate visitor facilities for active recreation, especially 
swimming. Programs at the National Monument should emphasize visitor 
participation in interpretive, cultural, and quiet outdoor recreation activities. 



THE NORTHERN NECK 




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The view over Popes Creek has changed little since Washington's day. 





The edge of Popes Creek. 



10 



George Washington Birthplace National Monument is located on Virginia's 
Northern Neck, the peninsula formed by the Rappahannock and Potomac 
Rivers as they flow into Chesapeake Bay. This is typical tidewater country. 
The land is low and flat. Branches unite to form creeks which often spread into 
marshlands as they near the river. At its tip, the peninsula is barely 25 miles 
wide from river to river. The monument lies some 40 miles upriver from 
the bay, at a point where the neck narrows to about 8 miles. 

The Northern Neck is still predominately a rural area and retains much of an 
18th-century atmosphere. Its towns and settlements are small, and there are 
no large industries. But for years its waters, beaches, and historic sites have 
attracted the traveling public. All of the neck is within easy driving distance of 
Baltimore, Md., Washington, D.C., Richmond, Va., and a host of cities and 
towns in between. Although tourism has so far spurred only a limited amount 
of development, it is still the Northern Neck's main source of income. 

A patchwork of fields, marshes, scattered survivors of the original forest, and 
a mature second growth of mixed hardwoods and pines compose the monu- 
ment. George Washington's birthplace stood on a promontory overlooking 
Popes Creek. Standing there today, on the highest ground in the monument, 
the visitor has a commanding view over the same waters. 




Still waters mirror the marshland along Popes Creek, a scene which for visual and historical reasons should remain unchanged. 




The gravestone of John Washington, founder of the family in Virginia and great-grandfather of George. 



A RESOURCE INVENTORY 



This small wedge of meadow, forest, and marsh, bounded by the waters of 
Popes Creek, Bridges Creek, and the Potomac, contains the plantation grounds 
and sites of a number of historic structures associated with the Washington 
family and the birth and boyhood of George Washington. Here is the heart 
of the plantation owned by Augustine Washington, George's father, the site of 
the house in which George was born, and the sites of various outbuildings char- 
acteristic of tidewater plantations of that day. A mile northwest, on the banks 
of Bridges Creek, stood the second home of John Washington, George's great- 
grandfather and the first Washington to settle on the Northern Neck. Only a 
short distance from that site is the Washington Family Burial Ground, holding 
the graves of the father, grandfather, and great-grandfather of George Wash- 
ington and other early family members. 

In 1718 Augustine Washington bought 150 acres along Popes Creek and a few 
years later began building a substantial brick dwelling on a rise about 200 feet 
inland from Popes Creek. The house was probably finished by 1726. It was 
here that George Washington was born on February 22, 1732, the son of 
Augustine and his second wife, Mary Ball. George only lived here for 3 1/2 
years. In 1735 Augustine Washington took his family 50 miles up the Potomac 
to his Hunting Creek farm (now Mount Vernon). Four years later he moved 
again, this time to a farm across the Rappahannock River from Fredericksburg. 
When Augustine Washington died in 1743, the Popes Creek property passed 
on to Augustine Jr., George's half brother. Later, as a boy of 11, George re- 
turned to Popes Creek on visits of undetermined frequency and length, before 
beginning his career as surveyor, soldier, and farmer. The farm remained in 
the family, but during the American Revolution the birthplace home burned 
and was never rebuilt. 




The Memorial House. 



13 



This is the central interpretive story at the monument. An important related 
theme is the general history of the Washington family, beginning with the 
coming of John Washington to these shores in the mid-17th century, his mar- 
riage, the building of his second home on Bridges Creek, and his services to 
King and colony. Both the family history and the formative years of George 
Washington are best understood when displayed against the social, cultural, 
religious, political, and agricultural background of 17th- and 18th-century tide- 
water Virginia. 

The birthplace site is by far the most important historical resource at the monu- 
ment. Its approximate location is marked by the Memorial House, a 1 1/2- 
story brick structure built in 1931. As the name suggests, the house is not a 
replica of the original. Because little authentic information was available at 
the time, the Wakefield National Memorial Association erected an early 18th- 
century-style dwelling, drawing upon existing period houses in the region for 
size, type of construction, and floor plans. There is a good possibility that the 
ruins uncovered by the Park Service in 1936 and designated as "Building X" 
are actually the foundations of the house in which George Washington was 
born. Archeological and historical studies, undertaken years ago but never 
finished, should be resumed to settle conclusively what is one of the most 
important historical questions about the monument. 

The Colonial Kitchen, just west of the Memorial House, stands on the site of an 
18th-century foundation which was first unearthed in 1896. Between the house 
and Popes Creek a colonial-style garden, with many plants common to Virginia 
gardens of the period, is laid out. The Memorial Shaft, put up by the Federal 
Government in 1896 to mark the birthplace site, was moved to its present loca- 
tion at the monument entrance when the Memorial House was built. 

The artifact collection, gathered during the several archeological investigations, 
constitutes one of the monument's most valuable resources. It includes such 
items as wine bottle seals with the name of Washington's great-grandfather 
and the monogram of his father as well as a variety of household objects which 
illustrate the daily life of the Washington family. The best are displayed in 
temporary exhibits in the Colonial Kitchen. 

An equally important resource in other hands are the records preserved in the 
office of the clerk of Westmoreland County. Unusually complete, they date 
back to the 17th century and have so far yielded a great deal of background 
information on the Washington family. 

Although the monument is chiefly noted for its history, there are other re- 
sources present, as summarized below. 

Wildlife The water areas around the monument are an important stopping 
place and wintering ground for waterfowl, among them whistling swans, geese, 
and ducks. The bald eagle can also be seen in the vicinity. 

Special Scenic Features From many parts of the monument the view across 
Popes Creek and the Potomac is superb. 



14 




The ruins of "Building X" lie underground to the right of this tree. 




Whistling swans, in flight here, and other 
waterfowl winter at the monument. 



An 1872 painting of the last standing struc- 
ture of Augustine Washington's plantation, 
the kitchen chimney. It fell a year later. 



15 





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HISTORICAL RESOURCES 

1. Foundation of an early 18th-cen- 
tury chimney, unearthed in 1896. 

2. Foundation of an early 18th-cen- 
tury building, traditionally the one 
in which George Washington was 
born. Unearthed in 1896. 

3. Foundation of a small brick struc- 
ture, unearthed in 1936. Use un- 
known. 

4. Foundation of an old structure 
known as "Building X," possibly 
the ruins of the birthplace house. 
Unearthed by the NPS in 1930; 
re-excavated in 1936. 

5. Foundation of an early 18th-cen- 
tury building, probably a smoke 
house. Uncovered by the NPS in 
1936. 

6. Foundation of a 17th-century 
building located V* mile north- 
east of the burial ground. Un- 
covered in 1934. 

7. Foundation of a building un- 
earthed 180 feet southeast of the 
burial ground in 1930 and 1934. 
Probably an outbuilding. 






In 1896 the Nation first marked the birthplace site with this granite shaft. It was later moved to the present location. 



THE PLAN FOR THE NATIONAL MONUMENT 



For a moderate investment at this monument, the National Park Service can 
achieve a number of broad educational and conservation objectives: an ef- 
fective retelling of the Washington story, the display of land, ruins, and artifacts 
associated with the Washington family, the demonstration of farming practices 
in Washington's day, and the preservation of a stretch of the Potomac shore. 
The opportunities are many, and if the work is skillfully done, we should be 
able both to enjoy now and pass on to future generations a park in which 
history and nature can be pleasantly encountered. As the great urban centers 
to the north, west, and south, press onto the Northern Neck over the next 
decades, the value of this small park should become even more apparent. 

How these objectives can be realized is the subject of this section of the Master 
Plan. The requirements fall into three broad categories: resource management, 
visitor use, and administration. 




A survey of land near Bridges Creek 
by young Washington in 1747. 



1. RESOURCE MANAGEMENT 

The Historic Scene 

A major interpretive objective is to recreate authentically, insofar as possible, 
the farm scene at the time of Washington's birth. The Memorial House and 
the Colonial Kitchen— both period reconstructions on 18th-century founda- 
tions — and the Colonial Garden and a few other features, along with the 
natural glory of the land, suggest today a semblance of a colonial Virginia 
tidewater plantation. Yet there are grave deficiencies in the present scheme, 
whether the reconstructions are taken singly or considered as a whole. The 
exact site of the birthplace house has never been conclusively determined, and 
general data on the historical appearance of the farm is lacking. So far as is 
known, none of the reconstructions preserve any authentic historical features 
of the original plantation. Moreover, other buildings are so unfortunately de- 
signed and located as to be themselves intrusions. 

Present efforts to preserve and maintain the natural and historical setting 
should continue as long as they do not conflict with new findings in history 
and archeology. Roads will be restricted to those necessary for visitor and 
administrative use. 



19 




Cedars on Burnt House Point. 



Because sound preservation and interpretive programs must proceed from a 
reliable fund of knowledge, a comprehensive program of historical and 
archeological research should be carried out as soon as possible. The site, 
size, design, and character of the birthplace house and other physical features 
of the Augustine Washington plantation and the sites of other colonial farm 
houses and outbuildings must be determined, if at all possible. A Historic 
House Furnishings Plan should be prepared to guide the refurnishing of the 
Memorial House and the Colonial Kitchen with items appropriate to the times. 
When research is completed, the findings should be utilized to design a setting 
that is both historically consistent and aesthetically pleasing. 

To avoid damage to any archeological resources that may be present, the 
planning and construction of the main Interpretive Facility should move 
forward only after salvage studies have been completed. The facility should 
not encroach on the plantation setting along Popes Creek; it should permit 
access to the main interpretive and scenic areas of the monument. 

Some thought should be given to stabilizing and exhibiting the ruins of struc- 
tures associated with the farms of both John and Augustine Washington. 

Land-Use Controls 

The Park Service has a vital interest in the use made of the water and land 
adjoining the monument. The private farming now being carried on nearby 
is compatible with the Service's objectives and should be encouraged to con- 
tinue. But hunting and commercial development along Popes Creek are in- 
compatible. 

To insure the preservation of the rural scene, the land on both sides of Popes 
Creek, the land along the monument's western boundary, the interior prop- 
erties bounded by monument lands and the Potomac River, and the land 
bordering Va. 204 between the future route of the George Washington Country 
Parkway and the monument entrance should be controlled by the Park Service. 
Several methods can be considered: acquisition and the lease or resale of cer- 
tain rights, perpetual easements, county zoning, or any other practical arrange- 
ment. 

The waters of Popes Creek fronting on the monument should be protected by 
either outright acquisition or by regulations developed jointly by the Park 
Service and the Commonwealth of Virginia. Use should be restricted to non- 
powered boats; all adverse uses, such as hunting, swimming, and commercial 
activities, should be eliminated. 

An ecological study should be made of the wetlands along the upper reaches 
of Popes Creek. This study should determine what effect the disturbance of 
natural conditions along the headwaters would have on the ecology of the 
estuary. The study may lead to later recommendations for scenic easements 
or other controls over the wetlands. 



20 



Agricultural Use 

Under a Special-Use Permit cattle and crops are now raised on 170 acres of 
monument land to help retain the farm character of the area. The association 
also grazes sheep here for the same purpose. 

The Historical Base Map should guide the proposed historic living farm restora- 
tion, with its appropriate farm buildings, roads, fences, and the growing of 




A foreshadow of the living farm, proposed by this plan for the monument. 




^ N v 




LAND ACQUISITION PLAN 



Land needed to complete the National Monument 



Land on which use-controls are needed 



George Washington Country Parkway (proposed) 




Farming is an agreeable use of land bordering tne monument. 



23 



period crops and the raising of period farm animals by 18th-century methods. 
This restoration should be restricted to about 20 acres south of the Memorial 
House, unless research justifies additional sites. Farming of the 170 acres 
should continue under a Special-Use Permit, unless it conflicts with the 
living farm. 

Historical Collections 

There are some 50,000 items in the monument's artifact collection, most of 
them derived from past archaeological work here. They are stored in the base- 
ment of the Memorial House, and a dehumidifying system in the house helps 
preserve not only them but also the fragile textiles and other furnishings there. 
A Museum Collections Study needs to be made to identify each object and to 
furnish management with guidelines as to their usefulness for interpretation. 

Fire Control 

Although no major fires have occurred since the monument's establishment, a 
potential hazard exists because so few workers would be available to fight a 
fire: two, if the fire broke out during working hours; only one or none, if it 
broke out at any other time. For equipment the staff has only a few small 
extinguishers, a 75-gallon pumper, garden hoses, backpack pumps, and hand 
tools until help arrives. 

The nearest fire-fighting units are volunteer organizations in Montross and 
Colonial Beach, each about 12 miles away. The Park Service has no legal 
agreement with either, but both have cooperated splendidly in the past. 




Soybeans, grown on monument land un- 
der a special-use permit. This farm setting 
will be maintained. 



24 



To assure public and private assistance in a fire emergency, it is vital that the 
present level of good relations with our neighbors be maintained. At present 
only one employee lives in the monument. Three permanent employees 
should live here to protect the monument adequately.There is also an immedi- 
ate need to back up the present unreliable telephone service with short-wave 
radio equipment, tied-in if possible with Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania 
National Military Park. 

2. VISITOR USE 
Information Services 

In summer visitors first meet park personnel at the gate house in the monu- 
ment circle. During the winter only the Memorial House is manned. At both 
points guides introduce the visitor to the facilities and the main points of 
interest at the monument. 

The proposed Interpretive Facility will remedy the lack of an effective entrance 
experience for visitors. It will also fulfill the requirements for a suitable place 
in which to receive and orient visitors and offer them the personal services 
they need and have come to expect. 

The present entrance station should be eliminated and the entrance road 
relocated so that visitors proceed directly to the main interpretive point. 
Fees should be collected at this facility and space made available in it to the 
Association for their sales operation. 

The exercise of use-controls on the land along Va. 204 between the proposed 
parkway and the monument entrance, as discussed earlier, should assure a 



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A nature trail, relating natural features to life in colonial times, will take off from this 
pond near Bridges Creek. 



pleasant approach. The Park Service should also acquire administrative con- 
trol over Va. 204 between that route and the monument. 



Interpretive Services 

The present interpretive program stresses the Memorial House as an educa- 
tional exhibit with inspirational overtones and the surrounding grounds as a 
setting of natural beauty. The program does not offer effective interpretation 
of either George Washington or his family and regional background. Because 
of a lack of historical and archeological data, interpretation remains largely 
memorial in character. 



25 



An Interpretive Facility, artfully located to take adantage of the view over 
Popes Creek without becoming an intrusion in itself, is needed to house this 
program and a number of related functions. The historical objects associated 
with the site should be liberally displayed here to lend reality and authenticity 
to the story. 

More and better literature, both sales and free, is needed to interpret important 
aspects of the Washington-Wakefield story. There is an especial need for 
children's literature. 

Historical Buildings 

Interpretation of the Memorial House and the Colonial Kitchen would be 
greatly improved by completing the furnishing of both buildings with items 
appropriate to the period and by using better interpretive methods inside. 
When exhibits are removed from the backroom of the kitchen, this room 
should be furnished according to recommendations laid down by research 
studies. Additional interpreters, both seasonal and permanent, will be needed 
to staff these buildings and to carry out other interpretive functions. 

The Historic Grounds 

Perhaps the most memorable visitor experience at the monument comes as 
one stands on the broad front lawn of the house and looks out over a scene 
remarkably unchanged from Washington's day. The mood generated by this 
view should be reinforced by skillfully designing a walking tour of the grounds 
that will emphasize significant features related to the birth and boyhood theme. 
This tour should incorporate interesting findings from the historical and arche- 
ological research, among them important structural ruins, such as "Building 
X" and ruins at the John Washington and Henry Brooks sites. 

The second theme presented on a walking tour should be the story of the 
operating farm as Washington knew it. Through the reconstruction of working 
farm buildings, the raising of period crops and livestock, and the demonstra- 
tion of 18th-century farming methods, it should be possible to create a con- 
vincing portrait, in reduced scale, of the Washington farm. To succeed, this 
effort must be based on wide and deep research. 

This theme can be strengthened by laying-out nature-history walks along the 
Popes Creek shore which will relate natural history features to colonial life 
and Washington's experiences. It would also be appropriate to interpret the 
waterfowl present seasonally on nearby waters. A secondary interpretive 
facility should be developed overlooking Popes Creek for this purpose. 

Recreation Activities 

Swimming Because nearby Colonial Beach and Westmoreland State Park 
offer public swimming, boating, and camping facilities, the Park Service has 
an opportunity here to develop facilities of a quieter and more contemplative 
nature. Special regulations are needed to prohibit swimming at the monument. 

Trails In the past over 21/2 miles of foot trails have been built in the monu- 
ment. They allow visitors to experience a woodlands environment similar to 
the one George Washington may have known. A system of foot trails should 
be newly developed to give access to significant natural areas of the monu- 
ment, including the shore, and to boost such activities as walking, nature ob- 
26 servations, and the quiet enjoyment of the land and water. 




The study in the Memorial House. 



Area proposed for expansion of historic liv- 
ing farm and extension of Potomac Heri- 
tage Trail. 



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23 




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Washington Family V-^ 

Burial Ground :.V... 



Agricultural use 





GENERAL DEVELOPMENT PLAN 
The monument as it will be 

private land 
:•!•!":•:•! facilities to be removed 

1. Main interpretive facility. 

2. Living farm area. 

3. Entrance road. 

4. Self-guiding history trail. 

5. "Building X," uncovered and sta- 
bilized. 

6. Colonial Kitchen: furnishing to be 
completed. 

7. Memorial House: furnishing to be 
completed. 

8. Colonial Garden: possibly relo- 
cated. 

9. Foot bridge 

10. Log House: to be rehabilitated. 

11. Secondary interpretive facility 
(theme: seasonal waterfowl). 

12. Picnic area. 

13. Self-guiding nature trail: to use 
existing trails. 

14. Residences for farm laborers. 

15. Self-guiding nature trail: to be de- 
veloped. 

16. Quiet use of Potomac Shore. 

17. Interpretation at Henry Brooks 
house site. 

18. Picnic area. 

19. Interpretation at Bridges Creek 
site. 

20. Maintenance area. 

21. .New residence for park employee. 

22. Acquire administrative control of 
Va. 204. 

23. Land to be acquired. 

29 



Picnicking The picnic area is adequate for the present number of visitors. 
When the park is fully developed and visits begin to lengthen, the demand 
for picnicking sites in such an attractive area will undoubtedly rise. Two small 
picnic areas are recommended, both closely associated with scenic views of 
the monument's pond and creek environment. 

The expected increased use resulting from development and construction of 
the George Washington Country Parkway may also open the way to offering 
meal services at the monument. A study of the need and desirability of 
such service should be made in the future. 

Overnight Accommodations 

There are camping facilities at Westmoreland State Park and several nearby 
private sites. If the Potomac Heritage Trail is ever realized, the monument 
might be a suitable overnight stopping place. But until the trail exists and the 
need for camping facilities becomes evident, the planning for such facilities 
should be delayed. 




The Potomac shore. 



Law Enforcement 

The management assistant' and his staff are responsible for protecting visitors 
and the monument's resources and facilities. The Park Service has welcomed 
the assistance of local and State law enforcement agencies in the past, but 
these agencies are' least able to patrol park roads when visitor use is the heavi- 
est — in summer. The Potomac beach near the burial ground is a trouble spot 
then. Groups gather to swim and engage in a variety of activities inconsistent 
with the purposes for which the monument was established. Swimming is 
permitted only during the day; at night the road beyond the burial ground is 
closed, but many find it easy to park at the burial ground and walk to the 
beach. Unless the management assistant patrols this area at night, these 
activities go on unhindered. 

Two general measures will contribute to better law enforcement at the monu- 
ment: (1) the management assistant and his staff should increase their efforts 
at traffic control and the regulation of certain improper uses; and (2) more 
employees should be assigned to live in the monument. To regulate the uses 
of the shore, the Park Service should (1) control all inholdings; (2) construct a 
gate across the main park entrance; (3) take out the road leading from the 
burial ground to the river; and (4) issue special regulations banning swimming 
in the monument. 



30 



3. ADMINISTRATION 
Administrative Services 

The management assistant, under the supervision of the Superintendent, directs 
the operations of the National Monument. He schedules, manages, evaluates, 
and coordinates the work of the monument staff and applies policy directives 
for the proper conduct of various programs. He participates in long-range 
management and development planning, in the preparation of Master Plans, 
and in programming and supervising construction work. An important aspect 
of his work is the cultivation of good relations with park neighbors and the 
assorted agencies whose work bears on the monument's activities. He holds 
membership in or provides liaison with the following groups: 
□ Westmoreland County authorities □ Virginia State Police □ Colonial Beach 
Fire Department □ Colonial Beach Rescue Squad □ Regional Civil Defense 



authorities □ Dahlgren Naval Proving Grounds □ Robert E. Lee Memorial 
Foundation D Wakefield National Memorial Association. 

The present lack of adequate office, storage, concession and Post Office space 
will be remedied when the proposed Interpretive Facility is built. When a 
number of proposed programs get underway, such as the 18th-century farm, 
a management appraisal should be conducted to determine whether more 
administrative responsibilities should be assigned to the park staff. 

Maintenance of Facilities 

Maintenance in the National Monument is a steadily expanding operation. 
There are 4.5 miles of roads, 2.59 miles of trails, numerous signs, markers, 
and fences, a colonial-period garden, and some two dozen buildings, most 
built during the 1930's. As could be expected, age, weather, and termites 
have taken a toll of the monument's facilities. 

Maintenance operations are now inadequately housed and staffed. These are 
the requirements for an effective maintenance program for the immediate 
future: 

(1) The existing maintenance area should be removed and new facilities (both 
storage and work space) built at a place outside the important historical zones. 

(2) More maintenance workers are needed to meet the increasing responsibili- 
ties that will be imposed by development. 

(3) Archeological investigations should precede any construction project to 
avoid damaging or covering up valuable ruins or sites. 

(4) To avoid unnecessary road construction, historic farm roads, restored as 
part of the living farm, can be used to bring essential maintenance services to 
the farm complex. 

Staff Housing 

There are two residences in the monument now, both in good condition. The 
rest of the staff live in the nearby community. 

One additional residence is needed in the monument to provide protection 
at night and when the management assistant is away. The operation of the 
living farm may make it necessary to provide quarters for some farm em- 
ployees. Temporary seasonal housing will also be available through conver- 
sion of the Log Tea Room for this purpose. 

Organization 

Staff increases are needed for the following functions: 

Office of Management Assistant 

To provide part-time clerical help to the management assistant. 

Visitor Services 

To man the proposed Interpretive Facility. 

To provide effective on-site supervision of the interpretive program. 

To guide programs dealing with the management of historical, natural, and 

archeological resources. 31 



To give more effective 24-hour protection to resources and visitors now and 
to meet increasing responsibilities as development of the monument pro- 
ceeds. 

To provide improved informational and interpretive services on the grounds 
during the travel season, especially at the living farm and along the shore. 

Maintenance 

To maintain the proposed Interpretive Facility. 

To maintain an expanded system of roads and trails. 

To maintain the several staff facilities proposed by this master plan, including 
residences. 

To operate and maintain the living farm all year. 

Concessions 

The Wakefield National Memorial Association, the authorized concessioner, 
sells boxwood slips, mementos, and interpretive literature. Their facilities for 
sales and storage are sadly inadequate. 

The Interpretive Facility should be planned to provide suitable space for the 
association to carry on its activities. The association should be encouraged 
to expand its sales operation to include new interpretive publications and the 
commodities produced by the living farm. 



The Department of the Interior — the Nation's principal natural resource agency 
— works to assure that our expendable resources are conserved, that our re- 
newable resources are managed to produce optimum benefits, and that all 
resources contribute to the progress and prosperity of the United States, now 
32 and in the future. 

* U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE : 1967 O — 28I-70I 



Photographs by Ross Chappie